Corn Hole Bean Bags – A History
The backyard game of corn toss has a long and illustrious history in the United States. But it has taken on many incarnations over the years. Likewise, the game bags have taken many forms and have evolved as time has gone on. In fact, their beginnings are most humble.
It is widely believed that the origin of corn hole bean bags and games can be traced to late 19th century Appalachia. The settlers and farmers of this region were anything but wealthy, so they came up with a form of entertainment that utilized supplies that were already in their possession, namely whole kernel corn and large storage sacks. Though these original bags were likely much bigger than today’s version, they were probably appealing because of their softness and ease of use. When paired with a couple of thin, pine boards they could provide a short time of fun and relaxation for these hard-working, early Midwestern settlers.
The game of corn hole ebbed and flowed in the early 20th century, but rebounded strongly during the second world war. US soldiers turned to this simple game as a way to pass the time on bases all over the world, which in turn increased exposure on a global scale. What started as a rare diversion in the hills of middle America had suddenly reached a fan base on a global scale. Even after the soldiers returned home, the remnants of this sport would stay and grow in popularity in the most remote places of the planet.
Today, the game of bean bag toss is more pervasive than ever. Passed down from generation to generation, it’s now a tradition that is engraved in the consciousness of a nation. Most Midwestern residents view the game of corn hole to be just as important to a back yard barbecue as the dogs on the grill and the drinks in the cooler. Moreover, all signs point to this being a staple of warm weather leisure for many more years to come.